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Saturday, June 4, 2011


The storied career and life of Lalo Guerrero would take a long time to tell and the man truly deserves a site of lis own. I will give you the highlights of his career taken from the

Eduardo "Lalo" Guerrero, credited as being "the father of Chicano music," was a Mexican-American guitarist, singer and farm labor activist best known for his strong influence on today's Latin artists.
Guerrero was born in Tucson, Arizona, one of somewhere between 16 to 24 siblings (although only nine survived). His father worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Lalo did not finish school, but instead dropped out to pursue music. His first group, Los Carlistas, represented Arizona at the 1939 New York World's Fair, and performed on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour on radio.
He moved to Los Angeles in the 1940s, and had a few uncredited roles in movies, including Boots and Saddles and His Kind of Woman. He recorded for Imperial Records and fronted the Trio Imperial. He also formed his own orchestra and toured throughout the Southwest. He performed at the "La Bamba" club in Hollywood, a place frequented by the biggest stars in the movie business. In the 1960s, he bought a night club in Los Angeles and renamed it Lalo's.
His original composition, "Canción Mexicana" is a mariachi standard. César Chávez said of Guerrero in 1992 at a tribute in Palm Desert, California: "Lalo has chronicled the events of the Hispanic in this country a lot better than anyone." He worked closely with Chavez for farmworkers' rights and lent voice to the movement with the song, "No Chicanos On TV."
Guerrero's earliest Pachuco compositions were the basis of the Luis Valdez stage musical, Zoot Suit. He even wrote children's songs presented via his "Las Ardillitas," or "Three Little Squirrels."
His first US hit was "Pancho Lopez", a parody of the popular 1950s hit "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett". Guerrero used the Davy Crockett melody and wrote his own lyrics, telling the story of a legendary Mexican character. The song was popular in both Spanish and English. However, due to criticism Guerrero received over this song, he never performed it publicly, not wanting to contribute to an inappropriate stereotype. Guerrero went on to record several more parody songs, including "Pancho Claus," "Elvis Perez," "Tacos For Two" (to the tune of "Cocktails For Two"), and "There's No Tortillas" (to the tune of "O Sole Mio").
He was declared a national treasure by the Smithsonian Institution in 1980 and was presented with the Presidential Medal of the Arts in 1997 by then-US president Bill Clinton. In 1992 he received the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment of the Arts.
Guerrero wrote an autobiography, Lalo: My Life and Music (ISBN 0816522138).
Guerrero died in March 2005 at the Vista Cove assisted living facility in Rancho Mirage, California after suffering a gradual decline in his health.

Additional Information:

Lalo Guerrero's first solo effort "Pecadora" was released in 1948 on the Imperial Record label. The label would later remane Lalo Guerrero "Don Edwards" and he would cut one record recorded in English "Floricita, I Will Never Fall In Love Again". The record flopped & he went back to his previous career as a "Mexican" singer.
  In 1955 he moved to the RCA label and while the country became obsessed with  Davy Crockett mania, Lalo would record a parody called "The Ballad Of Pancho Lopez" The record would go on to sell more than a half a million copies.
  Following the success of "Pancho Lopez" Lalo realeased other parodies such as "Tacos For Two", "I Left My Car In San Francisco", "Elvis Perez" and "Pancho Claus"
  In the mid 1970's ethnomusicology departments at major universities invited Lalo to speak & perform and he would go on to perform concerts with his son Mark, a talented musician & songwriter in his own right.

For more information on Lalo Guerrero please visit Lalo's son, Mark Guerrero's site at:

Also please buy his autobiographical book - "Lalo: My Life And Music" which contains a detailed discography put together by Mark Guerrero.


Soley for historical, educational and listening pleasure.

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